WHO I FISHED WITH: This morning, Tuesday, 04 January 2022, I fished with first time guests Clint and Chandler Zimmerhanzel on Lake Belton in pursuit of white bass.
Clint was high bidder on a gift certificate I provided to the Ralph Wilson Youth Club Fall Fundraiser at the Wildflower Country Club & Golf Course in Temple, TX, and today was the day he chose to redeem it.
Clint is a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agent at their Harker Heights agency (txfb-ins.com). Chandler, a University of Mary Hardin-Baylor nursing graduate, works in the pediatric intensive care unit at one of our local hospitals.
Here is how the fishing went …
My next few openings will be on January 12th, 17th, & 18th. Weekday mornings are always best.
PHOTO CAPTION: Chandler and Clint Zimmerhanzel pushed through a 30F start to an 80 fish finish on Lake Belton this morning.
PHOTO CAPTION: We landed 11 largemouth in a total catch of 80 fish, which comes to 13+%, all of which were 14-17 inches. That’s a decent tournament bag on Lake Belton without even trying to catch this species!
WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton
WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday (AM), 04 January 2022
HOW WE FISHED:
Two keys to success this morning: wind & birds. Despite the recent cold snap, and despite clear skies, the returning south wind (and a good bit of it — up to 14+mph this morning) was enough to trump all of that and get the fish pushing shad all throughout the water column.
When those shad got near the surface, the birds (mostly Forster’s terns today, not gulls) keyed in on them and gave a great visual as to where the fish were. Still, prudent use of sonar was useful to find exactly where the fish were after birds identified the general proximity.
Due to the winds, and because I wasn’t sure of the the Zimmerhanzels’ experience level, I rigged up with 5/8 oz. white Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and they turned out to be a good choice.
All of our fish were taken on a slow-smoking vertical tactic in under 34 feet of water.
When all was said and done, we landed exactly 80 fish, including 11 largemouth bass, 7 juvenile hybrid striped bass, 3 freshwater drum, and 59 white bass.
Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs and MAL Lures found here: https://whitebasstools.com/
TALLY: 80 fish caught and released
OBSERVATIONS: Despite the cold spike we’ve had since just after sunset on Saturday, the water temperature did not drop drastically, and the fish were still biting well today thanks to a stiff SSE breeze all morning. Temperature profile was as follows:
0 feet 59.6F
5 feet 59.8F
10 feet 60F
15 feet 60F
20 feet 60F
25 feet 60F
30 feet 60F
35 feet 60F
40 feet 60F
45 feet 60F
50 feet 60F
55 feet 60F
60 feet 59.8F
65 feet 59.8F
Start Time: 7:20A
End Time: 11:45A
Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 30F
Elevation: 2.40 feet low, 0.03 fall, 34 CFS flow
Water Surface Temp: 62.1F
Wind Speed & Direction: SSE9 at trip’s start and staying there through 9:30, then ramping up to SSE14 by trip’s end.
Sky Condition: Bright, cloudless skies
Moon Phase: Waxing crescent moon at 4% illumination.
GT = 75
AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:
Areas 1933, 216, 1799, 2052, 840, and 1604 with bird assistance at all but 1604.
Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service
Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide
254.368.7411 (call or text)
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